Are Your Favorite Instagram Filters Not Working Today? Gonna Have to Move Out of Texas
Looks like some of you are going to have to show your real faces as long as this law is in effect.
So during my lunch break today I hopped online to see girls collectively losing their minds over their favorite filters not working. Let's face it, those filters can really have you feeling good on a bad day. However a new law has gone into effect in Texas and apparently Illinois as well when it comes to facial recognition technology.
This is the Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act (if you care to read it, there you go). Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Meta, which is the company that owns Facebook and Instagram. The lawsuit says this technology learns a user's face and can automatically tag or associate a person with an image, typically without the consent of the user being tagged.
Any filters using facial geometry, like augmented reality filters, cannot be used within state lines. Filters that just change the image color or background are still usable or do not take users' facial geometry are still allowed. If you're trying to use an old filter you like, you may get a message that says, ‘This effect is not available in your location’.
Meta has released a statement on the removing of filters.
“The technology we use to power augmented reality effects like avatars and filters is not facial recognition or any technology covered by the Texas and Illinois laws, and is not used to identify anyone. Nevertheless, we are taking this step to prevent meritless and distracting litigation under laws in these two states based on a mischaracterization of how our features work. We remain committed to delivering AR experiences that people love, and that a diverse roster of creators use to grow their businesses, without needless friction or confusion.”
We will see if any changes will be coming in the future, for now. Just got to see you as a normal person on Instagram and Facebook it looks like.